Saturday, April 18, 2009
The friendly robots over at wikipedia say this song was released last summer but, like I always tell the First Lady, if I don't remember it, it never happened.
Either way, enjoy it for the first time or the 50th. D'Angelo has been away for much too long.
Continue Reading »
Let's not nominate Kinky Friedman for anything. But here's the part that really matters:
It would be the world's thirteenth largest economy -- bigger than South Korea, Sweden, and Saudi Arabia. But its worth would crater precipitously, after NAFTA rejected it and the United States slapped it with an embargo that would make Cuba look like a free-trade zone. Indeed, Texas would quick become the next North Korea, relying on foreign aid due to its insistence on relying on itself.
On the foreign policy front, a seceded Texas would suffer for deserting the world superpower. Obama wouldn't look kindly on secessionists, and would send in the military to tamp down rebellion. If Texas miraculously managed to hold its borders, Obama would not establish relations with the country -- though he might send a special rapporteur. (We nominate Kinky Friedman.)
In short: the state of Texas would rapidly become direly impoverished, would need to be heavily armed, and would be wracked with existential domestic and foreign policy threats. It would probably make our failed states list in short order. Probably better to pay the damn taxes.Basically.
Of course, it's important to remember that this is just a political stunt and will absolutely not happen. Even Rick Perry ain't that stupid. Continue Reading »
Friday, April 17, 2009
I was thinking of something more along the lines of "Fulfilling my teenage dreams." It should go without saying - just from the screen grab - that this is NSFW.
Want to read something really sad? Here's one of the comments: "I wanna b 1 of yall so bad. I admire all of yu." That's, in short, the definition of not fulfilling the dream. Continue Reading »
But how would he know? He's never met them. It would have been reasonable - and totally understandable - if Kanye had been angered instead of humbled by a very public and very childish takedown, the sort that South Park seems to specialize in (to this day, I'm still not sure why South Park has such a loyal following). Maybe it would be fair if Kanye simply wrote them off those writers as know-nothing assholes.
"SOUTH PARK MURDERED ME LAST NIGHT AND IT'S PRETTY FUNNY. IT HURTS MY FEELINGS BUT WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM SOUTH PARK! I ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON MY EGO THOUGH. HAVING THE CRAZY EGO IS PLAYED OUT AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE AND CAREER. I USE TO USE IT TO BUILD UP MY ESTEEM WHEN NOBODY BELIEVED IN ME. NOW THAT PEOPLE DO BELIEVE AND SUPPORT MY MUSIC AND PRODUCTS THE BEST RESPONSE IS THANK YOU INSTEAD OF "I TOLD YOU SO!!!" IT'S COOL TO TALK SHIT WHEN YOU'RE RAPPING BUT NOT IN REAL LIFE. WHEN YOU MEET LITTLE WAYNE IN PERSON HE'S THE NICEST GUY FOR EXAMPLE. I JUST WANNA BE A DOPER PERSON WHICH STARTS WITH ME NOT ALWAYS TELLING PEOPLE HOW DOPE I THINK I AM. I NEED TO JUST GET PAST MYSELF. DROP THE BRAVADO AND JUST MAKE DOPE PRODUCT. EVERYTHING IS NOT THAT SERIOUS. AS LONG AS PEOPLE THINK I ACT LIKE A BITCH THIS TYPE OF SHIT WILL HAPPEN TO ME. I GOT A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF ME TO MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE I'M NOT ACTUALLY A HUGE DOUCHE BUT I'M UP FOR THE CHALLENGE. I'M SURE THE WRITERS AT SOUTH PARK ARE REALLY NICE PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE."
And why not? They did virtually the same thing to him.
Not for a second have I tried to draw any conclusions about Kanye's true character or personality based on his ego-fueled persona. Why would I? What would I really know of him?
Maybe I'm being unreasonable here, which is entirely possible since I'm a fan of his music and we're talking about a cartoon that makes its name by skewering celebrities. But to me, all the attention on Kanye's notoriously overinflated ego has almost always overlooked his compassion for the Katrina victims, his outspokenness against homophobia in hip-hop, and his philanthropic streak. In many ways, it seems like another way of calling him "uppity."
Even Kanye's public persona has many dimensions. Of course, South Park chose to focus on only one.
However, keep this in mind:
Now I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem/Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams/I use it as my gas, so they say that I'm gassed/But without it I'd be last, so I ought to laugh.
If anything, Kanye is every bit the actor that he is the musician. Too bad South Park didn't even bother to figure that out or, if it did, chose to reacquaint itself with the low ground.
Interviewer: Do you think you’ve gotten to a place where there’s no self consciousness or insecurity?
Kanye West: Yeah. There’s no insecurity in the work I do, the outfits I put together, the beats I make, the raps I say.
I just wish Kanye had turned the channel that night. Or just laughed it off.
Continue Reading »
See, I really can't tell if I like this song or not. To me, it sort of highlights the problem that entertainers have transitioning into the music industry. I had/have the same issue with Jamie Foxx. The calls were much easier on Jennifer Lopez and Eddie Murphy - they suck.
I don't have the freedom of judging Brady solely on the merits of his musical talents. Which is really unfair because he's certainly a talented guy. But to me he's still that dude who Paul Mooney cracked foul on, and then went on Chapelle's Show and turned it out.
For some reason, I just kept expecting him to finish with an "I'm Wayne Brady, bitch!" and roll out. Continue Reading »
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I've had something of a love affair with Chick-fil-A since I was a kid, when my parents would take me to the mall and I'd get - at the least - one of the nugget-on-a-stick samples they would hand out in the food court.
Today, Chick-fil-A is lending its support to the tea party protesters by providing a “free medium iced tea with any purchase.”
... The founders of Chick-fil-A, the Cathy family, “have been outspoken in their support of Republican social conservatives. Chick-fil-A has won praise from religious conservative for keeping its doors shut on Sundays.” John McCain spoke at the company’s suburban Atlanta headquarters during the presidential campaign. Next Monday, Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, will be addressing the Rocky Mountain Family Council, a conservative group dedicated to promoting “God’s design for the family to strengthen marriages and families in Colorado.”
I'm really not one for boycotting a business because of its politics or, for that matter, regular business practices. Let's be honest: I made it through my 20s by shopping at Wal-Mart, I can't make a road trip without stopping at Cracker Barrel, and the only sneakers I wear have swooshes on them. You won't ever catch me eating "Freedom Fries."
But I can live without Chick-fil-A for the immediate future. As long as there's a Popeye's around.
h/t Think Progress Continue Reading »
Texas has been (in political terms, not necessarily cultural ones) a greasy white zit in the middle of America's nose ever since Dwight Eisenhower warned the rest of us about crazy Texas millionaires in 1954. Today, it's still Texas billionaires who finance insane right-wing smear campaigns on a regular basis.
This one state has done more than any other to retard progress in our recent history. The swift-boaters, much of the money to finance Reagan's contra war, Karl Rove, the Bushes...all Texas.
If it left, those billionaires and Rove and the Bushes could run the new republic. Fine. Drive it into the ground instead of America. Secession would also produce 34 fewer Republican electoral votes, meaning either that a) no Republican would ever win a presidential election again or b) one might, but he or she would have to moderate his/her positions so much that they'd make Nelson Rockefeller look like Grover Norquist, in which case GOP rule wouldn't be so hideous at all. And about 20 or so fewer wingnuts in the House of Representatives.
... if Texas wants to leave the union we should probably just let them go and I’d say the same for other southern states that feel oppressed by our efforts to use federal tax money to help them take care of their unemployed citizens. Back during the Civil War, the cause of keeping the union together was intertwined with the cause of fighting the great evil of slavery. But assume we just welcome migrants from the Republic of Texas with open arms if they want to flee north, there’d be no comparable problem with letting Texas leave.
Obviously, one advantage of large-scale secession of the most conservative states is that it would be a lot easier to pass progressive legislation. An aspect of Civil War history that people don’t tend to appreciate is that the temporary departure of the Dixie bloc of Senators allowed a huge flowering of legislative activity that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible. In addition to prosecuting the war, the Lincoln-era GOP took sweeping action on industrial policy, infrastructure, land reform, etc. much of which would have been extraordinarily difficult to accomplish had the southerners just stayed in their seats and used the considerable levers of obstruction that are available to legislative minorities.
I love Texas and a number of Texans, but as long as I maintain a passport that's honored in Houston, I'm open to the possibilities.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”
Of course, that silly bit of rhetoric has nothing to do with reality.
Governor Rick Perry, five days ago: Governor Perry Calls FEMA To Assist With Wildfires
Governor Rick Perry, last month: Governor Perry Calls For 1,000 Troops To Be Sent To Border
Governor Rick Perry, five months ago: Governor Perry Requests 18 Month Extension Of Federal Aid For Ike Debris Removal
In short, Perry wants Texas to be free of interference from the affairs of the state except when he goes to Washington with the collection plate.
Gah. It's really sad to think about what's become of my home state. I have no clue how this clown has been able to maintain the governorship for this long, which is longer than anyone else in state history.
A buddy of mine who knows the history behind this kind of asshattery said last night: "this is insane ... we fought the civil war over this shit (among other things). it's how we almost went to war w/ south carolina under pres. jackson. you can't defy the federal government b/c it's too oppressive."
Yes, the idiocy is just staggering. But I guess it could be worse: Chuck Norris could be lieutenant governor.
Here's some video:
Continue Reading »
Instructor: So Peter, the way you tweet is by typing something into this boxHonestly ... assuming you bother going to the Twitter site, how could someone need a lesson in Tweeting? And how many lessons do you think he'll need? Do you think SI has AP Tweeting classes?
and then pushing the UPDATE button.
King: This box?
Instructor: No Peter, that’s the address bar of your browser. The white box in the middle of the screen.
King: It’s asking me, “What are you doing?”. What does that mean?
Instructor: It means, what are you doing?
King: Well, currently I’m enjoying a peppermint mocha from Peet’s. PEET’S, FABULOUS JOB MAKING SURE YOUR PEPPERMINT MOCHAS HAVE JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF MINTINESS. Should I write that?
Instructor: I guess. You just have to keep it to 140 characters.
King: What characters? You mean, like Don “Donnie Brasco” Banks?
Instructor: No, I mean 140 letters.
King: But what if I want to go on longer? For example, last week Frank Ames took me to Normandie Farms. Now, I don’t know what they put in their popovers, but you absolutely have to try them. With just a schmear of strawberry butter, they are truly something special. Only gripe? The coffee tasted like it came of out the kidneys of a dehydrated old man. NORMANDIE FARMS, YOU HAVE A LOT TO LEARN ABOUT HOW TO PACK AN ESPRESSO POD… Will I be able to do this “tweeting” while I drive?
Instructor: (kills self)
Yep. Redman will beee dat. Ave brought up Funk Doc the other day, so I had to dig up my favorite episode of MTV's mostly mindless peep show into the lives of stars who almost certainly ruined the resale value of their McMansions:
mtv cribs red man
Three important things, assuming you make it through the entire 6-minute video clip:
1. Do you think he really watched "Joe's Apartment"? If so, he's the first and only person I know who's ever done that.
2. The "dollar box"?
3. I bet Red is one of the few artists to appear on "Cribs" who's virtually guaranteed to never get kicked out of his house.
Enjoy. Continue Reading »
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
They weren't goths or loners.
The two teenagers who killed 13 people and themselves at suburban Denver's Columbine High School 10 years ago next week weren't in the "Trenchcoat Mafia," disaffected videogamers who wore cowboy dusters. The killings ignited a national debate over bullying, but the record now shows Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold hadn't been bullied — in fact, they had bragged in diaries about picking on freshmen and "fags."
Their rampage put schools on alert for "enemies lists" made by troubled students, but the enemies on their list had graduated from Columbine a year earlier. Contrary to early reports, Harris and Klebold weren't on antidepressant medication and didn't target jocks, blacks or Christians, police now say, citing the killers' journals and witness accounts. That story about a student being shot in the head after she said she believed in God? Never happened, the FBI says now.
Among the revelations: Eric Harris was financing what could well have been the biggest domestic terrorist attack on U.S. soil on wages from a part-time job at a pizza parlor.
"One of the scary things is that money was one of the limiting factors here," Cullen says.
Had Harris, then 18, put off the attacks for a few years and landed a well-paying job, he says, "he could be much more like Tim McVeigh," mixing fertilizer bombs like those used in Oklahoma City in 1995. As it was, he says, the fact that Harris carried out the attack when he did probably saved hundreds of lives.
"His limited salary probably limited the number of people who died."
How'd we come up with the list? Twelve is my favorite number. The music had to fit the mood. And there had to be some sort of semblance of order.
Other than that, there were no rules to the process:
1. Love Drug - Raheem DeVaughn
2. Beautiful Stranger - Madonna
3. Prototype - Andre 3000
4. After the Dance - Marvin Gaye
5. Just Me and You - Tony! Toni! Tone!
6. Telephone - Erykah Badu
7. Adore - Prince
8. Sumthin' Sumthin' (Mellosmoothe) - Maxwell
9. Anytime Anyplace - Janet Jackson
10. Satisfy - Me'Shell N'degeocello
11. Kissing You - Keith Washington
12. Don’t Say Goodnight - The Isley Brothers
I know, I know, I know ... where in the hell did "Beautiful Stranger" come from? To be honest, I don't know. But that song has had me under a spell for a good long while now. The First Lady didn't even bother putting up a fight about its inclusion.
Anyway, since this was about as tough as expected, the First Lady and I came up with some worthy honorable mentions: Love TKO by Teddy Pendergrass; Love Song by 311; Funny How Time Flies by Janet Jackson; Turn Your Lights Down Low by Bob Marley; Careless Whispers by George Michael; Anniversary by Tony! Toni! Tone!; Between the Sheets by The Isley Brothers; Fire and Desire by Rick James and Teena Marie; the Love Jones soundtrack; and almost anything by Sade.
The maestro, Ave, has a very strong list over at his spot too. We both feel the same about "Mellosmoothe" and the FL and I gave serious consideration to another one - it's hard to imagine that D'Angelo didn't make the cut. This time. Continue Reading »
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Was I the only one who used to watch this? I loved this show.
Actually, I've got a gang of videos that I've been meaning to post. Since my work schedule and writer's block are conspiring against me, expect to see more than the usual number in the coming week. Continue Reading »
Unfortunately, I was at work this morning and therefore unable to make it to church. But in the thoughtful words of a good friend, I'm "a son working on Resurrection Day!!! He got up so that you could get up and go to work and be productive and prosperous."
I can definitely dig that. I've certainly been blessed many times over.
Anyhow, it's a beautiful day out, sunny and warm and generally the sort of gorgeous spring day that brings people to Florida. But there's a part of me that's a little bummed about missing Easter dinner with my family in Houston.
So, to bridge the distance, I thought I'd share something from one of my mother's favorite artists. Jonathan Butler just seems appropriate, all the way around:
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